Thursday, April 30, 2009

So, I'm Engaged

For quite some time, I have been planning on popping the question to Darah, my girlfriend (now fiancee).  Actually it's been on my mind since last July when we discussed our future as a couple. So in December I took the first steps.  

Because Darah is from Maine, I didn't have many opportunities to talk to her dad about our plans.  But in December I went with her to Maine for a week before Christmas.  While I was there I figured it would be a good time to ask her dad.  (Gulp talk about nervous).  So with about a day and a half left I figured I had given her family enough time to get to know me, and it was time to ask him.
Everybody was down in her family's basement playing Rock Band, except for Steve (her dad).  So I decided to take a "bathroom break."  I headed up stairs and went to the bathroom.  I told myself, as soon as I'm done I am going to just go out there and ask him.  I never wanted a pee break to take so long.  (sorry if that is TMI).  When I finished I headed out into the living room where he was sitting.  I took a deep breath, and finally said, "Steve I'd like to talk to you about something when you have time."  I remember thinking, "please don't say now, please don't say now!"  And then he said, "Well now's a good time."

So I told him about how much I loved Darah, and that I was pretty certain that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.  I was hoping to ask her in the Spring and wanted to have his blessing if I asked her.  

He was very calm about it, and made me feel at ease.  He told me that Darah was his first baby, and meant a lot to him.  He also asked me about plans of timing of when we would get married. I told him probably the summer after we graduated.  He said that was probably good timing, and told me to take care of her, and then finally said yes, that I had his blessing.  Man I was on Cloud 9 (where that phrase came from I don't really know but...).  So ever since then I had been trying to find a way to propose.  

In January Darah and I had taken a comics as culture class for our J-term, and I started toying around with making comic panels.  So I decided I would write a love story comic book.  It would have 25 short stories all about love, and all ending in a proposal.  The last one would be our story, and would include the exact same setting as my intended proposal.  

I worked on this for about 3 weeks and only got a story and a half done.  I decided it would take way to long to get done in time for our anniversary, so I started looking for other options.  But nothing seemed to fit.  I wanted something that reflected on our year together, and that would be a good transition into the next stage.  I wanted something that took some time and effort, but was also realistic.  

Finally after sorting through a few ideas I decided on one idea about 4 days before our anniversary.  I remembered my family talking about going on an audio guided walking tour recently, and I thought.  "What a unique and great idea!"  So I began working on an audio walking tour of all significant places and events to us over the last year or so.  

It started at the location where we officially met for the first time, and then went through many important places for us.  At the end, the tour took us to a tree on campus.  We had called this tree the love tree because it is where we had first sat and talked until 4 A.M. and it is where we first held hands, and also where we had our first kiss.  Before we even started dating, Darah had made a joke, because we hit it off so well, that we should just carve our wedding date into this tree.

The audio tour (which was my recorded voice over some nice apple loops) told the story of the tree and its significants.  It ended by saying, this is kind of where the first step or our relationship began, and it now also where the next step begins.  Darah had tears streaming down her face.  (I was hoping tears of joy)  I took out my earphones from the tour and stumbled over some words.  I even said Lord like I was going to pray, but then I didn't pray.  I finally said, I'm just going to get down on my knee.  So I knelt down and said "Darah Lynn Morin will you marry me?"  And she said, "YES!"  

I pulled the ring (out of a ziplock bag, haha for good reasons) and then panicked because I wasn't sure which hand to put it on.  She helped me out, and then we hugged for like 3 minutes straight.  It was so awesome to pull off something special for someone that I love so much, and to end in such a memorable moment was probably the greatest feeling in my whole life.  

You can read a more detailed account of the proposal on Darah's Blog.  We also have a website now that is in progress. we are going to do a joint blog on there, about our experiences and the wedding planning process.  Please check it all out.  Wow, it's so so so exciting.  Thanks for reading, until next time.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Comics Comics Comics!!!

Ok, So for J-Term this year Darah and I took a course on comics called, Comics as Culture.  Basically for 2 and a half weeks we read tons of comics, and now I'm addicted.  I love them!  Sad thing is, they cost money :(  So after reading so many comics, and studying the art a little bit I decided I would try and make my own one-page comic.  I've tried making comics when I was a kid, but this time I actually followed most of the process, and I think it turned out pretty good.  I might start doing a weekly or biweekly one page paneled comic.  But, who knows?  I say I'll do a lot of things then something else comes up.  Anyway, I bet you're wondering how my comic turned out. Well, to add an element of suspense, I will show you the process before revealing the final outcome.

The first thing I did was make a rough draft on lined notebook paper.  I did it on notebook paper because we were running low on computer paper.  I had read Watchmen for our class, and one thing I really liked that Dave Gibbons did was make a solid image on one page, or a splash as it would be called in comics world, then he would panel it out and show a progression of people moving.  This was just a more creative way to do a conversation sequence.  It was much more effective than a head with a talking bubble.  So, I wanted to try it for myself.  I'm not exactly sure why I chose Arlington Cemetery, or why the subject matter, but I really liked how the rough draft came out.  

Here is the Rough Draft,  you can click on the image to make it larger.

After I had made a pleasing rough draft, I started working on the pencil version of the comic.  I outlined the size of the page, then I drew the whole splash image.  Then I sectioned it off into 3 equally sized panels, and erased anything in between.  

This is the Final Penciled Version.  Click to Enlarge

The Next Step in the Process is to take the penciled version, and ink it.  I liked the pencil version a lot, and I didn't want to ruin it by drawing over it with pen.  So I made a hodgepodge lightbox and traced it with a blue pencil.  Then I traced over that with various thicknesses of pen.  I also used some different shades of black and grey for the people.  

This is the final inked version of the picture.  Click to enlarge (of course)

Not a lot of difference between this and the penciled version other than the facial features in the closest people, and all lines are darker.

After this, the next step is to color it.  To do this, I just scanned the image into my computer, and worked on it in photoshop.  I'll spare you the details, and show you the final result.

You know the drill about making it bigger.

Ok so now on to the final result.  All I had to do was add the lettering.  I tried a few methods for this, but the best I found was a program called Comic Life.  It's made so you can add captions and word bubbles to your own pictures, but they are really good bubbles and captions, so I used them for my comic.  This is what I got.

Click and make it bigger, check it out, and let me know what you think please.  I hope you enjoy it.  It's short, but I think it's not bad and pretty powerful.  

Until next time


Thursday, December 25, 2008


"Do not be afraid for I bring you good tidings of great joy.  For unto you a child is born in the town of David.  This child is Christ the king.  You will find him wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."-Luke 2:10-12

This is what the angel said to the Shepherds on the night of Jesus birth.  It's short and sweet, but full of meaning.  It is probably the greatest announcement ever made, not to mention it was made by an angel so that makes it about ten times cooler.  

Today is December 25th.  It is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God's son, the savior of the world.  It never fails, every year I get wrapped up in the gifts and the magic of Christmas.  It's become so hard to remember the greatest gift.  I did the piece above to help myself keep my mind on the real reason for the season.  

It's so amazing that just a little baby would make such a huge significants in this world.  Even at the time of his birth, this child started making history.  Men traveled from a great distance just to see him.  A king set out an order to kill all children under the age of 2 out of fear of this child.  Fear?  Jesus was a baby?  How could anyone fear something so small and innocent?  It was also on the night of Jesus birth, that God showed his love for everyone, no matter their social status, or occupation, by sending an angel to tell the shepherds of Jesus birth.  

So much is such a little amount of time.  History was completely changed in one night.  To quote a Christmas song by David Story (an Indie artist who most people have never heard of) he said, "All of time points us to Your birth, because it was the night salvation came to earth."

Praise God for sending us Jesus to be our hope and salvation, and may we all remember what December 25th is really supposed to be celebrated for.

Merry Christmas!!

Peace on Earth,

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dancing in the Street

This really isn't anything special, but last night I stayed up all night working on an assignment for Biblical Interpretation.  It was probably the hardest thing I've ever done.  Also, it ended up being 114 pages long.  This was actually small compared to most of the other projects.  Either way, I an happy to be done.  This is why my post is entitled dancing in the street.  I'm in a very tired, but celebratory mood right now.  I'm only a few projects away from finishing the semester, and I just want to dance.  In fact I think I'll throw myself a dance party!!  Feel free to join me in dancing...anyway.  I finished my project for Biblical interpretation an hour before class.  So, instead of sleeping (because I would probably not get up, and sleep through the class, which would be a bad deal) I decided to make a cover page for my project.  

Norm Forester is our mascot here at HU (apparently I spelled Forester wrong, there's no spell check on photoshop, and this is not the official norm forester mascot, but I liked this one better.).  I thought this would at least give the professor a little chuckle before he ready the monstrosity that is my project.  Anyway, that's all I have.  I know its not much and it's not even that good, but I just needed to express how excited I am.  Until next time...


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ok so sue me!!

Ok, so I know I said I would not post anything until after finals were over, but...I lied (I guess).  I'm really excited about my new entry for drawergeeksjr.  I was kinda bummed about the subject for this coming entry week, because it was one I did not know very much about.  The theme was Image comics, which is a publisher of independent comics (so none of them are mainstream comics like Marvel or DC).  So I checked out the site, and was not super impressed with any of the material that they had on there, and I was just going to skip this one, seeing as how I was pretty far behind in homework and such, but then it happened.  I found some spare time, and found a comic I recognized.  The name of the character is Spawn.  His story is pretty strange (even as far as comic books go)  but I vaguely know his background, so I decided I would do this one for drawergeeks.  I think it's my best yet, I'm really excited about it.  

To keep the excitement in the air, I will show you the process with out showing you the finished product until the end of the post.  Hopefully you will have to scroll down to see it.  Anyway here it goes.

This first image is the initial sketch I did of Spawn.  You will understand why he is looking down with a forlorn look on his face later.  I actually did this sketch without really using a reference.  I glanced at a few images to remind myself of his basic look, and just went for it.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.

The next step in the process was to paint him.  This is the same process I've discussed before.  I make a new layer under the sketch, and paint under it, so as not to paint over any lines.  With some insight from Darah, this turned out really well also.

So you'd think that'd be it right?  I mean I have a nice drawing and painting.  Why mess with something that works?  But I had big plans for this entry.  I had been playing with some brushes in photoshop, and got a really sweet idea.  The following is a test I did to play with these elements.

Pretty cool huh?  Not perfect, but pretty sweet.  I downloaded some ripple brushes for no reason in particular, and I thought I could make a rain one and use the ripples in a puddle.  Once I did this, I got the idea for my drawer geeks.  It is a perfect means to portray the kind of feeling I was hoping to with the Spawn character.  So I did this different take on Spawn and now without further adeu...da da da da!

My Drawer Geek Final image

I wanted to portray a deeper feeling for Spawn than I have normally seen.  It is common to see Spawn in an angry or scary pose.  I wanted to show how he feels when he looks at himself and what he has become.  So that's it, the drawer geek entry for Image comics.  Talk about taking nothing and turning it into something.

A few more things before signing off.  Due to the fact that Darah and I have decided to go through with the making of Benny the Yak, I have created a Blog for us to chart our progress, and for you to check it out.  The link is
Also, just some news, one of my designs won the design competition for the residents hall t-shirt.  Although I'm not sure which one won.  But if you live in Miller or Meadows Hall,  get one cuz they are gonna be sweet.
So that's it for now, I shall return to my homework cave, and slave away at the grindstone for the next two weeks.  Until next time...


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Signing off...for awhile

Ok folks, this is my official resignation from the blogging world for probably the next 3 weeks.  I am up to my neck...nay drowning in homework from now until the end of semester.  So this is my practice of will power right now.  

Also, I think Darah and I are officially going to do the film about Benny the Yak.  So I will probably make a blog for that.  (After I get done with my homework :( )  Anyway, I'm out
until next time...